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6 Common Types of Pale Ale

Pale ale is one of the most popular styles of beer, not just to my taste buds, but all around the world. Made with a greater amount of pale malts, this style is typically lighter in color with a broad range of flavors, bitterness and strength.

This style is the brainchild of brewers who desired a purer product than the beer produced from overcooked hops. Through brewer experimentation with equipment, water and ingredients, different types of pale ale were developed and perfected over the years. We’re now left with a wide range of delicious pale ales that are growing in popularity.

Let’s take a look at the profiles and differences between the most popular types of pale ale.

American Pale Ale

American Pale Ale

This popular type of pale ale was developed here in America in the early ‘80s. American pale ales differ from British bitters in their flavor. They have a more pronounced hop flavor and, generally, higher alcohol content than their British counterparts. Because of these distinctive qualities, American pale ale is one of the most popular choices for home brewers. It is also an excellent commercial beer for people who want to enjoy a good domestic.

American Pale Ales will be dark gold, amber or copper in appearance. You will find a medium body that has an overall smooth and refreshing finish. The aroma will be low in malts, but moderately strong in fruity-esters and hops. This style of pale ale will have a somewhat strong hop flavor that showcases the piney or citrusy flavor often associated with American-grown hops. It may be somewhat bitter, but that should never linger for long.

When served or stored cold, you may notice a slight “chill haze”. American Pale Ales will typically have an alcohol content that ranges from 4.4–6.0%, while IBUs will range from 30-50. Whether it is because of its home brewer friendliness or its smooth, light taste, American pale ale is widely available both in home brew ingredient kits and supermarkets around the world.
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Pumpkin Beer: Everything You Want to Know About This Popular Seasonal

Pumpkin Beer

The fall season is upon us. As the chill is in the air, the leaves begin to change color and the smells and sights are evocative of the seasonal shift. My favorite part of the fall season isn’t the cooling weather or the Halloween candy piling up on the shelves at my grocery store; it’s the much-anticipated return of pumpkin ale.

Pumpkin brews originally started as a radical brewing experiment that teased local connoisseurs, but has since grown into one of the best-selling seasonal brews with wider distribution than ever before.

How Brewers Make Pumpkin Beer

Most craft beer brewing follows a general theme in terms of ingredients and recipes. The idea is to soak grains, add them to fermented malts and allow the mixture to season itself or take on the flavors of the vessel in which it rests. Most brewers use wooden kegs for the fermentation process. Others use vats, barrels and even actual pumpkins as kegs in which a secondary fermentation occurs.

While the brewing process is relatively standardized, the ingredients in each brew differ greatly, especially in terms of seasonal offerings. Some brewers chop up fresh, raw jack-o’-lantern bits and toss them into the fermenting mash to impart that squashy flavor. Others prefer to roast the pumpkin with a method similar to that of making a pie, bringing out the sugars and subtler flavors through heat and caramelization. Yet others still opt to use pumpkin extracts, syrups or flavorings and rely on wooden kegs to impart an earthy essence.

Each brew master has their own different process. One brewery in particular chooses to use roasted malts instead of caramelized malts in their pumpkin beer. Although the caramel flavor seems like the obvious choice in terms of pairing the sugars with the pumpkin, the roasted malts bring to mind a likeness of pie crust. Another brewery has found that that tossing whole vanilla beans into the kegs brings out the sweeter notes of natural pumpkin and likens it to the whipped cream atop a warm slice of pie.
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The Mystery Behind Pouring the Perfect Guinness: Step-by-Step Guide

For some reason Guinness seems more prone to be shrouded in a veil of mystery than any other type of beer out there. It is popular dry Stout which was originally developed in Ireland back in the late 1700s. Three centuries later, it remains one of the most popular beers across the globe. Because it is unique in many ways, it must be treated differently when pouring, kegging and distributing it.

We’ve previously discussed how to pour the perfect draft beer. However, in that article we failed to mention that pouring Guinness takes a slightly different technique. To honor our devoted Guinness drinkers, we’d like to take this opportunity to teach you how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness.

Why Does Guinness Need to be Poured Differently?

The first question many people ask is why Guinness must be poured differently from other beers. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most important is the ratio of nitrogen to carbon dioxide. Guinness relies on a much higher nitrogen ratio than any other type of beer. For the perfect pint, the gas mixture is 75 percent nitrogen and 25 percent carbon dioxide released at a pressure of between 30 and 40 pounds per square inch. Additionally, because the beer is so thick it takes longer for the nitrogen bubbles to release which is essential to pouring it correctly.
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The Evolution of Oktoberfest: A Historical Timeline

Today is officially the last day of Oktoberfest 2013. Because of this, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the history of Oktoberfest and how the world’s most famous festival has changed over the last two centuries.

When you think of Oktoberfest, it likely brings to mind images of beer kegs, mounds of pretzels, delicious bratwurst, accordion players in lederhosen, and, of course, gorgeous beer maidens carrying a dozen giant mugs at a time. However, many people don’t know that the original event had very little to do with beer, but was more of a wedding reception that quickly evolved into an annual event.

How It All Started

The first Oktoberfest took place on Oct. 17, 1810, in Munich, to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The newlyweds enjoyed the festivities so much, they suggested making it an annual event.

Nine years later, Munich’s city fathers decided to take over management of the event, after it grew large enough to include a variety of contests and carnival booths. Soon thereafter, Oktoberfest expanded from a one-day event to a 16-day festival starting in late September and continuing through the first weekend of October.
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PHOTOS: 2013 Texas Craft Brewers Festival in Austin, TX

Over the weekend, I attended the 2013 Texas Craft Brewers Festival here in Austin. What started off looking like a dreary day, turned out to be quite nice. The rain didn’t pour down like some forecasters were expecting, and the heat never quite reached the boiling point we’re accustomed to here in Texas.

Starting in 2003, the Texas Craft Brewers Festival provides you the opportunity to taste true Texas craft beer and experience breweries from across the state. Here’s a few photos I took at the festival.
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